Mississippi Supreme Court upholds charter school rights


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The Mississippi Supreme Court is affirming the state’s method of using tax money to pay for charter schools, rejecting a challenge that sought to cut off local money to the schools.

The Southern Poverty Law Center sued the state in 2016 on behalf of seven parents who send their children to Jackson schools. The suit argued that charter schools violate the Mississippi Constitution by making school districts share property tax collections with schools they don’t control.

Charter schools are operated by private, nonprofit groups. They receive tax money but are operated by private boards separate from local districts and the state Board of Education.

A Hinds County chancery judge in 2018 ruled that the method of paying for charter schools is constitutional. The Supreme Court affirmed that ruling on Thursday.

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